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Full text of "Alexander von Humboldt"

ALEXAJSTDEB  TON  HUMBOLDT.                    81
climate on the plains of Chilpanteingo and Tasco,
lying abotit 6000 or 7000 toises* above the level
of the sea, and whose rich silver mines he visited;
thence their journey lay over Cuernaraca, and through
the fog exhalations of Guchilaquo to the beautiful
town of Mexico.
As the longitude of this place had, down to that
time, been incorrect on the common maps, Humboldt
rectified it by accurate astronomic calculations.    But
tlie antiquities especially occupied him here, and the
statistics of the population.    Having borrowed instru-
ments for the purpose  of the  astronomic measure-
ments   above-named,   from   the   excellent   mining1
academy of Mexico, whose director was also a pupil
of Werner, in Freiburg, he extended his inquiries to
the celebrated mines of Moran and Real del Monte,
and their environs, whence he returned in July, 1803,
to proceed to  the  northern, districts of the  country.
He surveyed the  artificial breach in the  mountain
Smog, near Desague cle Huehuctoca, which had cost
six millions of piasters, and was intended to conduct
the   waters   from   the   valley   of   Mexico ;   he   then
repaired,   by way  of  Salamanca,  to  the   celebrated
mining town.   Guaiiaxuato,   where   he   devoted   two
months to geognostic studies, especially to the detec-
tion of ores, and then travelled through the valley of
San, Tago, soixthwards to Vallaclolid, the capital of the
ancient kingdom of Mechocart    The rainy season did
not deter the  bold, and in the interest  of science,
indefatigable man from descending with his friend to
the coasts of the Pacific, into the plains of the Jorullo,
where, in the plain Malpais, in 1759, a considerable
volcano   had   sprung uj>  in one night, whose  2000
craters  were still   smoking,  and were   examined  at
considerable risk by Bonpland and Humboldt, who
descended 250  feet into the  burning crater of the
central volcanic cone, on fragile lava pieces.   To these
.investigations, science owes a new important increase
of its tacts and   revelations   on   the history of the
On© toiae Is equal to six feet.